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AC is again debating a later start

April 15, 2011

Mike Pettibone

    Should the school day start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8?
    That question is being considered again by the Adams Central school board, which has weekly teacher professional development sessions on Wednesdays that push that day's class starts back to 8:30.
    At the April meeting of the AC board, Superintendent Mike Pettibone said allowing students to get more sleep before coming to school is beneficial. On Wednesdays, he said, "the hallways are different," with the students appearing "more alive" and "not lethargic," as they are when classes begin at 8 a.m.
    Board president John Sipe said many Ohio schools, such as those in nearby Mercer and Darke counties, have 8:30 a.m. start times.
    Board member Steve Bailey said the Healthy Families organization that operates in Adams County agrees that a slightly later starting time for school is beneficial for students.
    Bailey added that research has shown that an 8:30 a.m. start for school is "a valid concept."
    Board member Wes Kuntzman said there is "a lot of validity" to the later-start idea.
    Pettibone stated that all three school systems in the county should discuss this matter and he volunteered to talk to leaders of the North Adams and South Adams districts.
    Board member Steve Maller said a list should be made of "the pros and cons" of beginning school at 8:30 a.m., such as the impact on test grades.
    Pettibone also handed out copies of a magazine article written by Dr. Lori Boyland, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Ball State University, in which she says that out of 248 schools studied in Indiana, only eight had an 8:30 a.m. start time.

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